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5 days ago
cosmicrat added new blog post

"American psychology, by which I mean the way Americans think about themselves and our collective social dilemmas, is painful
5 days ago
15 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

Nobody is saying it's not "ok" to be white.  And since no one questions the literal statement, it is not unreasonable to assume that some group is posting it as a coded message, perhaps to be followed up by a less "innocent" one.  Perhaps it would have been better to wait and see what happened next, but obviously it is suspicious and intended to be provocative.


I don't even need to add any commentary to this but I will say that if the sign had read "It's OK To Be Black" then everyone
15 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

I'm surprised you missed the one I named, and the explanation that should have made the rest obvious.  Perhaps you think that systems are only established by laws.  That is one kind of system, and racist laws were once an obvious problem.  Fortunately, after a long struggle in both the streets and the courts, and Federal civil rights legislation, those laws have been eliminated.  But laws were only a part of the problem.  Social and economic systems operate as they always have, relatively unaffected by legislation or even by proclaimed public principles.

The housing system, which I mentioned, is a major key.  The operating mechanism is "property values".  Realators and homeowners generally accept the long-held assumption that a black or brown family living in a neighborhood reduces the market value of all the homes around it.  Minority buyers are steered away from currently all-white areas, and toward mixed or all-minority ones.  There are many ways they can do this without overtly refusing to show or sell a particular house.  Rental discrimination is even more widespread.  Building owners want to maintain high rents by keeping their units un-integrated.  https://www.urban.org/features/exposing-housing-discrimination

Housing is of central importance because it also affects access to quality education, which affects employment and income levels.  It can also affect access to job locations.

Employment is obviously a significant system resulting in discrimination.  It has been found that bias is highest when the job involves meeting the public.  In other words, as in housing, the discrimination is done on behalf of the presumed bias of others, which they believe will affect the profits of the enterprise.

The justice system itself, in practice, produces biased results with devastating impact.  Minorities are more frequently stopped, more frequently arrested, convicted and given more severe sentences for the same offenses.  This impacts employment opportunity for the remainder of their lives, and even the right to vote in many states.

In some places private schools are used to avoid integrated public ones, and those who send their children to them are not interested in adequately funding public education.  Poor people of all colors are disadvantaged by this.

School systems suspend or discipline minority students more for the same infractions.  Doctors and hospitals suggest less treatment or further testing for minority patients than for white patients with the same symptoms.

Multiple studies and statistics have shown that these things take place routinely, often without overt prejudice or thought by the individuals working within these systems.  Some of it comes from unconscious bias.  Yes, there are laws against discrimination, but like traffic violations, only a small percentage are actually caught and punished, among the millions of interactions and transactions that happen every day.


Jessie Daniels is a prime example of how you can have PhD behind your name and still be an idiot.  Of course when you see tha
15 days ago
16 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

Taken literally, it is innocuous and pointless.  The question is, what was the motivation for putting it there.


I don't even need to add any commentary to this but I will say that if the sign had read "It's OK To Be Black" then everyone
16 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

Indeed it does have a meaning.  Systemic racism, also referred to as institutional racism, is embedded in multiple economic and social systems that determine the prosperity and quality of life we experience.

It is distinguished from overt individual racism, in that it operates without direct intentional decisions in most cases.  The system by which housing is sold and rented is one example.  

"

"Social scientists understand racism as a multidimensional and highly adaptive system — a system that ensures an unequal distribution of resources between racial groups. Because whites built and dominate all significant institutions, (often at the expense of and on the uncompensated labor of other groups), their interests are embedded in the foundation of U.S. society. While individual whites may be against racism, they still benefit from the distribution of resources controlled by their group.

Yes, an individual person of color can sit at the tables of power, but the overwhelming majority of decision-makers will be white. Yes, white people can have problems and face barriers, but systematic racism won’t be one of them. This distinction — between individual prejudice and a system of unequal institutionalized racial power — is fundamental. One cannot understand how racism functions in the U.S. today if one ignores group power relations."

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/good-men-project/why-its-so-hard-to-talk-to-white-people-about-racism_b_7183710.html 

The multiple systems are interdependent, which reinforces the effect.  Housing affects education, which affects employment, income and accumulation of wealth.  The problem is all-pervasive and will not fix itself.  It will require conscious will and effort to reform each of those systems and their relationships with one another.  This is difficult when a segment of society is actively trying to preserve their current effects, or even to increase them.  That is why it is not enough to just not be personally bigoted-- we all need to understand the way it works and do everything we can to build a truly equal and integrated society.


Jessie Daniels is a prime example of how you can have PhD behind your name and still be an idiot.  Of course when you see tha
16 days ago
19 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

It is easy to be misunderstood in 140 characters, especially if there was not a link to an article explaining the concept that was briefly described.  Whether the tweets stood alone or were a response to others', incomplete arguments are easy to quote without context and spin to an unintended interpretation.

I looked up Jessie Daniels to more fully understand what she has to say, and found that she is a very intelligent author of some very clear and well-researched articles on the subject of racism and white supremacy.  Here is one of them:  

White Supremacy Isn’t a Fad, It’s a System  http://www.racismreview.com/blog/2016/11/27/white-supremacy-isnt-fad-system/ 

"

If you’re white, and talk of white supremacy makes you feel uncomfortable, you might want to do some self-reflection. Why is it that it makes you uneasy?

If you’re feeling especially defensive when talk turns to white supremacy, then you may be experiencing  “white fragility.” Robin D’Angelo coined this term to describe:

“an emotional state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress be- comes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves.”

If you don’t think this applies to you, then you may want to investigate “white identity politics.” There seems to be a lot of that going around.

Typically, when people speak about identity politics – and especially the need to “move beyond identity politics” — they mean the racial identity of those who are Black or Latino. Implied in this use of the term “identity politics” is that white people are exist in a space that is safely removed from the politics of racial identity."

When you say "there is no systemic racism or white supremacy in the US."  you are 100% wrong.  Sorry, but denying it doesn't make it go away.


Jessie Daniels is a prime example of how you can have PhD behind your name and still be an idiot.  Of course when you see tha
19 days ago
22 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

It's true that white nationalism, white supremacism, and simple racism are different categories.  The first two involve an attempt to construct and ideology around an attitude, usually with the hope of organizing others.  The third involves little to no thought.  

In a similar way, burglary, armed robbery, and shoplifting are different crimes.  What all three have in common is theft.  

Not surprisingly, theft crime is considered a problem in society, and laws, police, and a criminal justice system have been established to deter it.  That doesn't mean that a majority of people are thieves.  It only takes a small minority for it to be a problem.  Even those who have never been a victim of a theft usually agree that thieves should be punished, and that children should be taught not to steal. Is that because anyone could potentially be a victim?  Perhaps.

Racists, like thieves, are also a minority.  Any bias that leads to discrimination is also a social problem.  Those who are unlikely to be the victim of prejudice may think it is not their problem, but the inequality and injustice it creates; the resentment, distrust, and disharmony affect us all, even if we do not realize it.

Some may think that continuing to reap the benefits of white privilege is preferable to working toward a more equal and harmonious society, even if they themselves are not prejudiced.  Others may not even realize or admit their advantages.  After all, being white is not a free ride, but only a head start.  With luck, ability, and determination, individuals can overcome disadvantages.  That doesn't make the problem nonexistent.

White Privilege Ain’t the Half of it

 https://medium.com/@DerekCressman/white-privilege-aint-the-half-of-it-204c6035b389 

Anyone can be proud of who they are.  Rationally, pride should come from one's achievements, not an accident of birth.  When someone's origin is called inferior, they may assert pride to say, "No, we are as good as you are!"  White "pride" means something else entirely.


30% of active military say white nationalism is a big national security threat, more than Syria. Nearly one in four troops po
22 days ago
26 days ago
cosmicrat added new blog post

30% of active military say white nationalism is a big national security threat, more than Syria. Nearly one in four troops po
26 days ago · 2 comments2 comments
13.10.2017
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

Fascism does not proclaim itself.  It doesn't win elections under its name.  It uses right-wing populism to get there, declaring minorities, the media, and established democratic institutions as the "enemy".

It would seem Trump's ineptitude as a leader and President make him a poor threat as a populist, yet he retains a core of around 30% no matter how often he lies and screws up.  That is a matter for concern.

".. fascism as a social movement often acts dramatically different from fascism once it holds state power. When holding state power, fascism tends to be rigidly hierarchical, authoritarian, and elitist. As a social movement fascism employs populist appeals against the current regime and promises a dramatic and quick transformation of the status quo."

Populism as a Core Element of Fascism  https://www.alternet.org/right-wing/populism-core-element-fascism

TRUMPING’ DEMOCRACY: RIGHT-WING POPULISM, FASCISM, AND THE CASE FOR ACTION  http://www.politicalresearch.org/2015/12/12/trumping-democracy-right-wing-populism-fascism-and-the-case-for-action/#sthash.LpZmIAQy.dpbs

"...the right-wing populists that make it to power look a whole lot like fascists. Conservatives, by definition, seek to protect the status quo, making a conservative populist something of an oxymoron. But the logic of right-wing populism seems, inevitably, to lead to fascism."  

Trump: Fascist, Populist, Tyrant or Clown. 

 https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/02/trump-fascist-populist-tyrant-or-clown/

"Right-wing populists lash out at immigrants and minorities to divert attention from the economic plight of their followers. Hence, their movements require a constant string of lies and fresh infusions of hate to keep up the diversion. "


Yes, I, too, am anti-fascist.  Although I prefer to oppose fascism in all its manifestations in a nonviolent way, I recognize
38 days ago
cosmicrat commented on a blog post

You seem totally confused.  "Enforce a Marxist ideology"?  Does that refer to single-payer health insurance?  
Where did you get the idea that anyone on the left wants to kill or oppress anyone?  Quite the opposite.

As for Antifa, though I prefer peaceful means of defeating the extreme racists, I will not abandon the good people willing to go further if necessary, It's easy to underestimate the danger of white nationalists and their ilk.  They may be small in number, but they have infected politics here, in France, Germany, parts of Eastern Europe.  Minority parties, perhaps, but the danger they pose is not in appealing to rational, decent people, but in manipulating the ignorant and mindlessly angry.

But if you want to pretend that all is rosy, and no one needs to be working to make things better, then just go on believing that.  


Who Exactly Is the Alt-Right? As Told by the Alt-Righthttps://extranewsfeed.com/who-exactly-is-the-alt-right-as-told-by-the-a
39 days ago
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